She’s crafted suiting for some of Australia’s biggest talents – from the comedian and actor Celia Pacquola to the singer-songwriter G-Flip – and with her bower-bird penchant for one-of-a-kind vintage and unstudied interior styling expertise, the tailor and designer Emily Nolan has also cemented herself as one of the country’s coolest tastemakers.
Having learnt the basics of sewing from her grandmothers at the age of 11, Nolan quickly honed her vision for a fashion label that was female-led, inherently sustainable and, most importantly, built on garments of quality.
“Deep-rooted sexism in design is prolific, especially when it comes to tailoring,” she says. “Historically, it has always been men first, and women second. Women, the afterthought or a menswear pattern applied to a female clientele.” She established her made-to-order label, E Nolan, in 2019, and quickly established an appointment-only service – nurturing a luxurious one-to-one wardrobe experience for all women and members of LGBTQIA+ community.
Here, we asked the Melbourne-based Nolan for her T Australia List – from the jewellery she’s coveting to her one-stop shop for all things gifting.
Covet This: Spring-ready jewels and oil painting classes
“It drives me mad that John from L’eclisse Shoes doesn’t have an online store, but he is so fabulously old school. All of his shoes are made in Italy and they are the work of gods. Nothing he has is available anywhere else. As we approach the holiday period, Pan After is your one-stop shop for all things gifting (and you will probably leave with a cheeky little present for yourself). I love the tote bags. Almost all my rings are Bella Clark and I’m in love with the new Spring collection. Everything she does is to die for. I love to visit Andy, Mitch and Annika at Oigall Projects on Gertrude St. Painting is my creative outlet that is not work related. Jacqui Stockdale’s Art Club Co classes are a great place to get your creative juices flowing. I also love to get lost in a vintage antique browse at Waverley Antique Bazaar or Nook Vintage. When browsing for the home, I admire the bowerbirds whose nest feels like their tangible spirit. When the budget is low, you have to be resourceful, and I find so much pleasure in the hunt. When you’re shopping second hand, it feels as if items find you – a bit like adopting a turtle. I have furnished my place with 90 per cent second hand pieces via eBay, Etsy, Facebook Marketplace and Leonard Joel Auction House.”
Watch This: Wes Anderson and Wong Kar-wai
“‘Asteroid City’, Wes Anderson (‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is one of my favourites – Wes Anderson builds worlds I want to live in. Nothing beats seeing it in the theatre); ‘Alice in Wonderland’ 1951 and ‘Dumbo’ 1941 (these will forever be my comfort movies); ‘Chungking Express’, Wong Kar-wai (the perfect romantic-comedy. ‘California Dreamin’’ will be stuck in your head all week); “The Summer I Turned Pretty” (I am disgustingly obsessed. Watching it makes me feel like I have a high school crush).”
Eat This: An Armadale wine bar and honey bread
“Alberts Wine Bar on Morey St, Armadale, is my new favourite haunt. This place and my parents’ labrador is the only thing now that will get me over the river. My other forever favourites include the fresh eggplant sandwich at Hector’s Deli, pasta at Cams Kiosk at Abbotsford Convent, breakfast at Florian (you have to leave with an Austro Bakery pastry) and the honey bread at Rocco’s Bologna Discoteca.”
Read This: Coffee table tomes and holiday classics
“’Sundressed’ by Lucianne Tonti. ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ is a book I read first on every holiday to ease back in – Hemmingway’s simplicity of constructing a narrative is less daunting to start with if I’ve been absent from page turning. ‘The Joy Of The Small Things’ is one to pick up and put down, forget what you’re doing and then return a few weeks later. ‘Sofia Coppola Archive’ by Sofia Coppola. ‘How To Be a Domestic Goddess’ by Nigella Lawson – she is my dream woman, my dream client. ‘Les diners de Gala’ by Salvador Dalì.”